The Wolverine

June-July 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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4 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2020 A BAD DREAM? Dear The Wolverine, As I slept the night after the 2019 Michigan-Ohio State football game, my disappointed-to-the-point-of- being-depressed brain concocted a disturbing nightmare. I dreamed that the Buckeye foot- ball program had joined a clandes- tine alliance of similarly exclusive programs called Football Factories of America (teams such as Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, LSU, Georgia, etc.) dedicated to filling colossal sta- diums and selling zillions of dollars worth of licensed sportswear. Crocheted, framed and displayed on the walls of these athletic departments was the alliance motto, "Do Whatever It Takes," which everyone knows is code for "the end justifies the means." I couldn't help but notice that most of these schools reside south of the Mason-Dixon Line — the home of NASCAR, where, for over 60 years, it has been accepted that one needs to cheat to win. Another thing that this FFA produced was NFL draftees by the busload. Rosters were filled with players who wanted to go pro with- out attending a college. The FFA accommodated them by hiring mercenary students to attend required mainstream classes and take tests as surrogates. FFA players whiled away their NCAA-mandated three years actually attending classes like weightlifting, agility drills, and conducting interviews with the sports media and NFL scouts. Killing time until daily practice and meetings, FFA players could be found playing video games in their luxury condos or driving around in new cars (cars said to be gifts from relatives, the same relatives who would talk the player into going pro early, hoping said player would buy them a new car). This affluent lifestyle was actually funded by well-heeled arrested-ado- lescent-type fans desperate to be as- sociated with a high-profile winning football team. The most maddening part of my nightmare was the interaction be- tween the NCAA, who seemed to be all about helping FFA athletic de- partments make money, and vari- ous unscrupulous win-at-all-costs coaches. When it seemed the NCAA could no longer ignore heinous rules in- fractions, the well-traveled coach would leave town mere months before NCAA sanctions were im- posed. No one in the athletic depart- ment would waste any time feeling ashamed. They would just go out and hire another household-name coach. The show must go on! Simmering in a cold sweat, I awoke from my dream wondering if the ma- jor college football "field" is level, so to speak. Is it a handicap to adhere to idealistic standards espoused by re- vered former coaches like Bo Schem- bechler or Tom Osborne? Will teams made up of real student- athletes like Michigan, Stanford, Northwestern or Notre Dame con- tinue to compete nationally, or must they play in a different league from the aforementioned NFL's unofficial equivalent of MLB's farm system? I'm blue from all the FFA butt whippings. Lou Hoekstra Kalamazoo, Mich. June/July 2020 • Vol. 31, No. 11 ISSN 1048-9940 Editor John Borton Editor Chris Balas Football Recruiting Writer EJ Holland Staff Writers Austin Fox, Drew Hallett Bob Miller, Clayton Sayfie Managing Editor Ryan Tice Contributing Editor Steve Downey Layout And Design Jeanette Blankenship Chris Miller Contributing Photographers Lon Horwedel Per Kjeldsen Cover Photo Courtesy Publisher Stu Coman Business Manager Linda Autry Marketing/Merchandise Manager Beverly Taylor Director Of Advertising Michelle Delee-Hamilton Customer Service Cathy Jones, Laura Thornton The Wolverine is published monthly. A one-year (12 issues) subscription is $56.99. The Wolverine is printed at The Papers in Milford, Ind. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Wolverine, P.O. Box 2331, Durham, NC 27702. Periodical postage paid at Durham, NC 27702 and additional offices. For advertising or subscription information, call 1-800-421-7751 or write The Wolverine, P.O. Box 2331, Durham, NC 27702. The Wolverine is a publication of Coman Publishing Company, 905 W. Main St, Suite 24F, Durham, NC 27701. E-Mail Address: Subscription questions: Website: Be Heard! Send your letters to: Wolverine Letters • P.O. Box 2331 Durham, NC 27702 Or email: Letters may be edited for clarity or length.   FROM OUR READERS Jim Harbaugh has coached 31 NFL Draft picks during his five years at the helm, but that number still trails the nation's most elite programs. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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